Monday, January 19, 2009

Sleepless in New York

My baby is decidedly against sleep. She dozes for about thirty minutes at a time when we can manage to "get her down" (our military code for getting her to sleep). Mind you, this is only after walking around like a maniac around our cramped New York apartment, jiggling and wiggling like a human trampoline, singing random ass Korean/French/English songs (which degrade into chants because my voice can't carry a note), rocking with her in our too-cheap-falling-apart rocking chair until our knees go numb and our backs feel like there are needles embedded in muscle layers (a backward take nodd to the ancient practice of acupuncture), and praying like a crazy person that she'll stay asleep while you transfer her to the crib. 

All of this reminds me of a primal dance, a two-step with the ancient practice of wooing your baby to sleep at the center. In the doctor's office, I 'll glimpse that baby who coos and gently falls asleep on her mother's lap while sucking her thumb, who withstands the noises of civilization (other crying babies, loud doors, creaking steps, harsh Long Island accents, trains rushing by, passionate spanish/italian/russian) and fall into a deep womb-like trance. Such is not the case with our little turkey. She resists the lull to sleep with an all-out attack on her drooping eyelids and our incessant methods with her flailing arms and buckling legs, her ear-piercing screams, fists that grab at anything near her (often my poor mangled hair or Alex's chin) and her rolling tears. Our little turkey fulfills the label on her bib, 'high maintenance' to a tee. 

If bibs could prophesize, I would make some that read, 'good napper', 'gentle crier', 'minimal stinker', 'no thrower-upper', 'won't-choke-during-let-down-nurser', 'won't-scratch-boobies-during-nursing'. And if these bibs worked, I'd make her wear them into adulthood; 'won't-go-through-hate-my-mother-stage', 'will-date-the-class-nerd-instead-of-rebel-boy', 'inspired-by-jane-austen-instead-of-gossip-girl', 'loves-radiohead-over-hannah-montana', the list could go on. 

For now, I'd settle for a 'will-let-mommy-and-daddy-sleep-for-at-least-ninety-minutes' bib. 

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